Statement from former Va. governor Tim Kaine on VDOT audit

RICHMOND -- Former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine issued the following statement today regarding the private audit of the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) commissioned by the McDonnell Administration:

"Typically when an audit is released with such anticipation, it's because of a discovery that taxpayer dollars are missing. In the case of today's audit -- thanks to tight-fisted project management and sharp reduction in overhead during the toughest economic downturn in a generation -- what's clear is VDOT has cash in the bank to pay for the projects in the Six Year Plan as they are built. That's good news.

"VDOT reforms enacted by the General Assembly were meant to yield exactly these results -- and as intended the available cash has been budgeted to a maintenance or construction project. In 2002, there were $687 million in project deficits and about 10,500 VDOT employees. Today, there is a substantial cash balance and fewer than 7,000 VDOT employees.

"When the McDonnell Administration went to market this past May to sell transportation bonds, they bragged about the smart fiscal management at VDOT. The nation's top bonding agencies studied the agency's performance and agreed, rating the VDOT bonds a strong AA credit. The McDonnell Administration's own Six Year Plan includes sizable cash reserves as a smart strategy for reserving funds for future projects.

"Ultimately the fact that there is money to spend on transportation needs is welcome news for Virginians and for the Commonwealth."